How many times have you looked back and felt grateful for all those hardships and setbacks in life? You knew that you didn’t want to go back and live it all again, but deep in your heart, you felt happiness and satisfaction from the lessons you learned and strengths you gained.
People say it all the time: “I don’t know where I would’ve been if I hadn’t lived all those challenging moments in life.” And that is exactly the point. Half of the disaster we see during hardships isn’t the situation itself but our perspective and mental laziness to deal with it.
Since I know that many of us don’t want to feel pain, we don’t want to go through tough times because they make us feel uncomfortable, here are 5 ways you can embrace your most challenging times and turn them into your biggest strengths.
1. Change perspective
This is the first and most fundamental step before anything else. You already know that everything starts with your thoughts and transforms into physical reality. How you see the situation in the beginning, will define how it actually unfolds in the future.
Instead of panicking or getting angry about things you can’t change, look for the lesson you can learn from it. Maybe there’s a change you need to make within yourself to gain a better understanding of life.
The way you look at the problems of life can make you the happiest or the most miserable person on Earth. If you see challenges as opportunities, you are going to be excited to deal with them and feel empowered at the same time. If you see them like berries, you end up sad, maybe fall into depression and become a grumpy old man.
2. Study them
Have you ever taken a closer look at your challenges? How did this problem happen? What was the series of events which resulted in this issue?
A challenge may be the outcome of circumstances which you can’t control, and sometimes you cause it unintentionally. Maybe you took certain steps which caused you to end up in situations you don’t like.
You would be blown away by how much you can learn about yourself and how many unwanted situations you can avoid if you have taken some time and studied them.
3. What’s in it for you?
This is the most empowering question you can ask yourself when it comes to facing challenges. The majority of people are trying to escape from any hardships in life because they don’t want to leave their comfort zone.
People choose short term pleasure by never dealing with their conflicts, pretending that nothing is happening until one day it all explodes.
Separate yourself from the majority and find the hidden benefit in every hardship or feeling of pain. What can you learn from it? Where can you improve and strengthen yourself?
4. Use them to help others
Do you know how many people deal with bigger problems than yours? How many of them can’t see the solution and feel desperate? Once you learn how to handle things on your end, you can spread your wisdom and help strengthen those who live in the dark.
Some people don’t have the internet to read this; they don’t have laptops or smartphones or iPhones. Always remember that out there are hundreds, if not thousands of people living in much bigger sh*t.
5. Seek even more challenges
Now you must think that I am crazy. How dare I ask you to seek for more challenges? Well, let me ask you this. How fast do you want to personally grow and improve in life and how much stronger you want to become?
I am not saying you have to start making your biggest breakthroughs day after day; little daily challenges here and there always counts.
Instead of shying away from the situation, stretch yourself and get used to being uncomfortable. Ask the question you are afraid to ask, make the phone call to an intimidating client who makes you nervous. These little steps will shape your mindset over time.
When you look up to your biggest idols or people you admire, don’t get tricked by the false belief and end up there accidentally. The amount of difficulties you endure in life will always equal to the amount of success, strength, and happiness you gain in return.
The World lies at your feet, but you have to be willing to sacrifice what’s necessary. Don’t get seduced by the present moment and some pleasure you may feel right now. Go out and get your hands dirty. That’s the only way you can grow to your highest potential.